Missile system acquisition a game-changer in Philippines defense

Emmanuel Tupas - The Philippine Star

MANILA, Philippines — The Philippines’ acquisition of the BrahMos, an anti-ship missile system from India, is a “game-changer” in the country’s defense of its territory, a National Security Council (NSC) official said yesterday.

With a range exceeding the West Philippine Sea (WPS), the BrahMos will deter if another nation would invade the Philippines’ territorial waters, according to NSC assistant director general Jonathan Malaya.

The missile system was developed by BrahMos Aerospace, a joint venture between India and Russia.

“It is a game-changer for the Philippines’ coastal defense,” Malaya said at a news forum in Quezon City.

He added that the government is increasing its maritime domain awareness capacity through the installation of coastal radars from Japan, but the equipment is useless without weapons.

“The BrahMos can hit that target the moment it hits our EEZ (exclusive economic zone), but I said we are not preparing for war. This is more of a deterrent,” Malaya said.

The NSC official refused to comment when asked if the missiles, which are going to be deployed to the Philippine Marines, have already arrived in the country as he is not authorized to disclose deals made by the Department of National Defense (DND).

He said that several countries have signified their intention to enter into a visiting forces agreement (VFA) and reciprocal access agreement (RAA) with the Philippines.

The RAA between the Philippines and Japan is expected to be signed within the year, according to Malaya.

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